Ask Eve
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Can I swap between private and NHS care?

Can I swap between private and NHS care?


The rules state that you will have to fill in a form each time you do it and your GP is meant to refer you back to the NHS each time you change. Some doctors ignore the rules and do not bother with this bureaucracy.

The advantage of switching between the NHS and private care are most pronounced if you are self-funding rather than being supported by a health insurance policy.

There are many reasons why you might want to gain the advantages of both systems. For example, you might need a CAT scan and be told there is a 2 week wait. You might want that scan within a few days. There is nothing to stop you from calling the local private hospital and asking them for a quicker scan. If you do this, you should ensure that the private hospital has the facilities for sending the pictures of your scan to your NHS carer. You might choose to have your chemotherapy but not the surgery in a private hospital. You may feel that the major disadvantages of surgery in a small private hospital is that it has less facilities for a complication and you may reasonably feel safer in a larger NHS surgical hospital. You may feel that you want a treatment that is not provided local in the NHS. Swapping care is common and reasonable. However, radiotherapy in the private sector is only available in very large private hospitals.

If you have any questions about treatment options then please Ask Eve on 08088020019 or email